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Protect Yourself from Online Sales Fraud on 3/22/2016

Be Aware of Bad Check Scams

A number of SLFCU members have been targeted by online sales scams, mainly in the form of bad checks. The Credit Union recommends that you never accept a check from someone you don’t know. Payment in cash is the most reliable option.

BOTH SELLERS AND BUYERS ARE AT RISK FOR ONLINE SALES SCAMS

Sellers stand to lose their items when scammers provide false payment, and sellers may even lose money if the scammer overpays and requests a refund of the difference. Buyers put themselves at risk because they may not receive the item they’ve purchased.

Before conducting an online sale, review the hosting website for tips and recommendations for avoiding fraud.

Craigslist advises meeting buyers in person at a safe, public location and not accepting personal checks, cashiers checks, certified checks, or money orders because all can be faked easily. eBay also provides a number of tips for avoiding payment problems as well as a resolution center for submitting cases if something goes wrong.

RECOGNIZING SCAMS

These actions should raise suspicion:

  • The buyer overpays and request a refund for the difference.
  • The buyer doesn’t ask to see the item.
  • The buyer would like to wire the funds and/or requests personal or financial information.

IF YOU ARE SCAMMED

SLFCU cannot determine in advance if a check will bounce, refund money for a bad check, or recover lost funds or items. Check the online sales site for a way to report an issue. You may also contact the Internet Fraud Complaint Center, the Federal Trade Commission, or, if defrauded by someone you met in person, local law enforcement.

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